Mrs Hargreaves remembers
by Martin Wesley-Smith (1997)
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In 1932, 79-year-old Mrs Reginald Hargreaves travelled to America
from her native England to receive an honorary doctorate from
Columbia University in New York. It was the centenary of Lewis
Carroll's birth, and Mrs Hargreaves, before marriage to crack
county cricketer Reggie, had been Alice Liddell, the real-life
inspiration for Lewis Carroll's best-known nonsense classics
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the
Looking-Glass - and What Alice Found There. The doctorate
was in recognition of her role in the creation of those
masterpieces of English literature.
This piece depicts (quite fancifully) Mrs Hargreaves, the night before the degree is to be conferred, having a massage while rehearsing her acceptance speech. She soon wanders from what she had prepared and reminisces, with great fondness, about her childhood friend the Rev'rend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll's real self). Her main focus is his depiction of himself as the White Knight in Through the Looking-Glass.
Duration: 10 min.
The composer states this work is:
tonal, melodic, very singable
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